PSA: Don’t install Windows Phone 8.1 on the Samsung ATIV SE on Verizon

The preview for Windows Phone 8.1 so far is mostly going off without a hitch. There are a handful of users experiencing the ‘80188309 error’, which prevents the installation, but besides a few minor issues it’s been smooth sailing. There is one device though we’re going to advise holding off on doing the preview, the new Samsung ATIV SE for Verizon.

A few developers, people in our forums and on Reddit have expressed some serious stability issues with the ATIV SE going to 8.1, including freezes, un-responsive touch screens and the camera app causing problems too.

User ‘dabeast622’ commented in our forums:

“I have noticed most of my lock-ups either right after hanging up from a call, or when you go to unlock the phone ... it's almost like the touchscreen just completely stops responding. I have done two Hard Resets, and it still happens.”

Another user on Reddit named ‘TheFiloStrain’ noted

“My phone will occasionally lock, and then the touch screen will be unresponsive and I have to reboot, and other times it will reboot itself randomly”

We’ve also had some developers express regret at doing the update too. Keep in mind, the device is still plenty usable, and a few are just doing occasional soft-resets and living with it, but if you’re thinking of doing the upgrade, at least be aware that things will be a little unstable compared to 8.0.

The problem here is probably the same as other ‘issues’ on the 8.1 preview: firmware. Whether it is you battery life, stability or something not working, it’s almost always tied to the needed firmware that will get the OS to talk better with the hardware. This is, after all, why they call it a ‘Preview for Developers’. We’re confident though that when the official updates begin rolling out in early June, things will get better.

If you do have the ATIV SE with 8.1, for now you’ll just have to deal with the nuisances. Once Samsung rolls out the official update, with new firmware, you can update to that as well, and all should be well again.

If you haven’t installed 8.1, at least know the risks now, so heed caution. When it comes to our review of that device, we’ll try to have it in the coming days, time permitting! For now, you can see our hands-on and first impressions of the ATIV SE or read more in our ATIV SE forums!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.